The National Weather Service has issued Blizzard Warnings for portions of southeastern New England ahead of the third major coastal storm to impact the region in less than two weeks. The Nor’Easter will bring wind-whipped heavy snow to the northeast later today into tomorrow, with additional snow shower activity adding to deep accumulations later Wednesday into Thursday. More than a foot of snow is expected over southeastern Maine, coastal New Hampshire, and eastern Massachusetts including Boston by Wednesday morning; an additional 8-12″ more may fall from this storm beyond Wednesday morning.
While most people associate a large snow storm with the word “blizzard”, that is meteorologically incorrect. Blizzards are defined by their winds and visibility; it is even possible to have a blizzard without any fresh snow falling. To meet blizzard criteria, bad weather conditions need to persist for more than 3 hours: namely, winds need to be at 35mph or more and visibility due to either fresh falling snow or blowing fallen snow needs to be reduced down to a quarter mile or less. This blizzard criteria is expected over the southeasternmost portions of New England.
The heavy snow and strongest winds should push into the northeast tonight into tomorrow morning and begin to wind down from southwest to northeast late Wednesday as low pressure pulls north and east of New England. But with snow showers and gusty northwest winds lingering into Thursday, visibility may drop again from time to time in blowing snow.